The Life of Susan Shirley Neithamer

Susan Shirley Neithamer, 65, of Alexandria, Virginia, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at home and surrounded by her family after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born on March 3, 1955 in Rural Ridge, Pennsylvania to Daniel and Angelina Simonetti. Susan married husband Calvin “Vin” Neithamer on December 30, 1978, and accompanied him through his medical school training and his internship and fellowship, taking the young couple from Pittsburgh, to Naples, Italy, to Denver and New York City before finally moving to Alexandria, Virginia in 1987. While stationed in Denver, Susan attended Metropolitan State College, graduating with distinction in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

After graduation, Susan began her career skillfully managing medical practices, with one brief interlude at E.F. Hutton in New York. Susan dedicated herself to this work so that, in her words, “physicians could do what they were trained to do best…treat patients.” Susan navigated through the many issues presented in the ever-changing practice of medicine for more than two decades. She forged strong connections supporting finely tuned practices that were successful in no small part thanks to her good work. She worked locally with Drs. Ryan and Sullivan at Alexandria Pediatrics and finished with Alexandria Urologists before changing careers. In her unique way, Susan could coalesce relationships between vendors, service providers, co-workers, and practitioners with seamless effort. She was efficient, effective, infectiously energetic, positive and highly respected in all her professional endeavors. She was a significant loss to any practice when life drew her in another direction. In a departure from her previous work endeavors with physicians, Susan spent ten years, from 2009 until 2019, as a partner in the successful retail-design business, Coco Blanca, located in National Harbor, Old Town Alexandria, and Bethesda. Susan and her partners delighted the community with a much-needed source for specialty clothing, accessories, furnishings, and design services in the tri-state area. Coco Blanca frequently participated in community-oriented events that benefitted local charities and offered internships for young entrepreneurs seeking first-time work experience. Susan was a stalwart supporter of fostering curious minds and teaching needed skills and principals for success, while giving back to her community. Susan’s final career challenge was her successful management, reorganization, and relocation of Hudgins Law Firm which she accomplished brilliantly despite her diagnosis and caring for her husband. The firm affectionately refers to their new location as “the house that Susie built.” Susan’s greatest joys in life involved caring for her husband, Vin, and sons, Jason and Gregory. When not working, Susan enjoyed supporting her boys in every sporting and theatrical endeavor, leading the packs and fan base with her infectious laugh and distinctive cheers. She also loved hosting her extended family for holidays and special occasions and reaching out to her community to contribute in any way possible, usually in leadership roles. Susan was the former President of the Northern Virginia Practice Management Association, Secretary and volunteer for the St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School APT, and President and volunteer for the Belle Haven Women’s Association. Susan was a gourmet cook who shared her talents with family, friends, the Belle Haven community, SSSAS, and the Bucknell men’s lacrosse team when her older son matriculated there. She was known for her impeccable taste, attention to detail, ability to welcome, and her tireless compassion for her community and all she counted within her circle. Susan loved tennis and captained her club’s A team for many years. She adored all varieties of sports, skiing and travel, and she spent the little free time she had enjoying these activities with her family and friends. Susan moved with quickness and deftness and always made any one in her path feel special. She was a loyal friend of so many as she was gifted with her unique ability to engender trust and kindness. Her friends, colleagues, and family are all better for knowing and having her in their lives. Susan was greatly admired and much beloved by everyone in her life, and now sorely missed. In addition to her parents, Susan was predeceased by her brother, Daniel Simonetti, Jr. and a nephew, Anthony Simonetti. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, Dr. Vin Neithamer, sons Jason of Arlington, VA, and Gregory of Boston, MA, brother Joseph (Teena) Simonetti, nephew Dr. Joseph (Jennifer) Simonetti, Jr., niece Jennifer (Mark) Simonetti Platts, grandnieces Sydney and Charlotte Platts, and grandnephews Jackson Platts and Samuel and Nel Simonetti. There will be a private viewing held at Demaine Funeral Home on November 17, 2020. In addition, there will be a private service, due to COVID-19, at St. Mary’s Basilica and private internment following at the Ivy Hill Cemetery on November 18, 2020. The church service will be available via Zoom. A full celebration of Susan’s life is expected to take place on November 12, 2021, COVID-19 permitted. Please feel free to send flowers to the Funeral Home by November 17, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions, in the name of Susan Simonetti Neithamer, to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. St. Mary’s Basilica Service Vimeo Link (11/18/20 9:30AM-10:30AM ET): Flower Donations:

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